If anyone can explain how the social news site’s cantankerous community is coping without each other, it’s surely Forthewolfx, the redditor who’s famous for being famous.
Forthewolfx’s rise to Reddit fame began four months ago, on a thread titled “What is your biggest secret desire that you are ashamed to tell anyone?”
He answered with seven simple words that would change his life forever: “I want to be famous on Reddit.”
Over 8,500 people agreed with upvotes. It became, if not exactly a running joke, a funny game that thousands on the site went along with. Someone purchased Reddit Gold for him. To this day, whenever he posts on Reddit, throngs of admirers immediately respond in reverence.
Almost every day, someone Googles his name—we know this, because Forthewolfx regularly pops up in the Daily Dot’s inbound search traffic.
“I feel like [it’s now] a different kind of fame,” Forthewolfx said. “Early on it was a joke, and now, I am actually well known, and the stupid reason for the fame has mainly disappeared.”
But Reddit, Forthewolfx’s domain of fame, is blacked out today in protest of SOPA and PIPA, proposed legislation that would give new powers to intellectual-property holders at the expense, critics say, of free speech and innovation.
“I support everything Reddit is doing against it,” Forthewolfx said. “With that said I will curl up in the fetal position and cry until Reddit comes back online.”
That kind of self-deprecating remark is classic Forthewolfx. He may be famous for being famous, but he’s in no way the Paris Hilton of Reddit. If anything, he’s the exact opposite.
He’s consistently humble on the site. When he first skyrocketed to popularity, his response was, “I'm just a kid [...] and you are making me feel pretty damn special, and I don’t even deserve it.”
“I still dont feel like I deserve it,” he told the Daily Dot yesterday.
That might be because in real life he’s just Joe, a 15-year-old high school freshman in Long Island. He’s at “the bottom of the high-school feeding chain,” he said.
Though he knows some redditors in real life, the most recognition he’s received in person is someone saying his name seemed familiar.
“My parents know I’m famous on ‘some site,’ but don’t know the magnitude of my fame, or [that it’s] Reddit,” said Joe.
At school, Joe’s a prankster.
“Right now I am putting up pictures of Morgan Freeman on class photos throughout my school,” he said.
In his free time he watches TV, mostly comedies; he’s into Party Down while Community is on hold.
He’s also a gamer. Though he’s never met up with anyone from Reddit in person, he plays Team Fortress and Portal 2 on Steam with users of the site.
As for actually channeling his Reddit fame, Joe has one idea. “I enjoy making people laugh, but i feel that I would never make it as a comedian,” he said. “I also have enjoyed making videos ever since I knew how to work a camera.” So he plans to start a subreddit to harness some of the site’s users’ comedic prowess on video.
“All the comedic geniuses of Reddit can write a Web series,” he said. “It’s a fantasy, but I think it would work.”
Joe admits he spends a huge amount of time on the site.
“I have Reddit up while I am doing a lot of things, so in total I would say 3-5 hours on weekdays.
“Wow. That’s pretty bad,” he said.
For one day, he’ll have to do without Reddit, and his unplanned fame.
Tomorrow? Joe will be back to being Forthewolfx, Reddit superstar.